Circularity & Yak

Circularity & Yak

How we’re making sure The Comfort Movement becomes even more Circular in 2022 and beyond...

If there’s one thing we don’t do here at L&Y, it’s rest on our laurels. Sure we’ve made some good progress, but 2022 is shaping up to be the year we push our own standards in circularity further than ever, with new initiatives designed to battle the world’s waste pandemic. With Cop26 dedicating much of its programme to discussing circularity, and Google searches for ‘circular economy’ at an all time high, there’s no better time to reflect on today’s successes and tomorrow’s circular ambitions.

The Big Picture

It’s thought that around 350,000 tonnes of perfectly good clothing gets binned every year in the UK. That’s about the weight of the Empire State Building. Imagine a skyscraper of wasted textiles sinking into a landfill site on repeat every 12 months; it’s enough to choke you up, let alone the planet. In this country alone, £2.7 billion is spent on outfits that get worn once, and then get discarded. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Helping to tackle the “take-make-waste” attitude prevalent in contemporary fashion, we’ve developed a long term Buy Back Scheme, launching soon, that aims to keep its Yaks in circulation far beyond the life of your typical piece of clothing. Working closely with our engaged and forward-thinking community – the collaborative scheme will work by trading in old Yaks, ready to be given new life, in order to prevent clothing unnecessarily ending up in the bin. More on this soon – head to @lucyandyak for all the latest news.

Responsibly New, Recirculation, Re-investment

A passion for the planet has always been at the centre of our mission, and Recirculation has long been the mindset. Already, any pieces with flaws of imperfections are sold via our (Im)perfect Yaks Marketplace (rather than thrown out). Returns are sold on Lucy & Yak’s official Depop store, and the popular RE:YAK NETWORK provides a space for our community to source ways to upcycle, care, repair and recirculate their Yaks. All of these initiatives help keep clothes on people, and out of landfills.

Every item produced by our team – who are paid a fair wage – is Responsibly New. Each piece is made from conscious materials: recycled, biodegradable, or organic. That means, at the end of life, nothing bad is being given back to the planet. And that’s not all! Our packaging is environmentally conscious, with all postage material and stationary being 100% recycled and biodegradable.

We also make sure to Re-invest in projects that support lasting positive change. Take the Fior Di Loto Foundation. Each year, on ‘Fior Di Loto Friday’ – Lucy & Yak’s response to Black Friday – a third of all profits go to the foundation, which provides an education for more than 700 girls living in the villages surrounding Pushkar, Rajasthan, in Northwest India. This year, Fior Di Loto Friday helped 220 children go to school. Other important initiatives close to our hearts include the Black Queer Travel Guide collection, and Planet Patrol. We’re on a mission to raise £1 million for noteworthy causes like these ones, and more, by 2026.

Widening the Lucy & Yak Circle

True sustainability cannot exist without accessibility, and we’re so lucky our powerful community heartily embraces all things circular, with their signature joy and creativity. A quick scroll through our  ‘Buy, Sell, Trade’ Facebook group (which has 16.6k members at time of writing) makes this clear. Here, members can buy, sell, trade and creatively upcycle their Yaks with other Yakkers, extending the life of each item. 

At its heart, Lucy & Yak try to create things you’ll want to keep wearing again, and again, and again. Think: timelessness over trendiness. Design that promotes versatility and price accessibility. Comfort that lasts. This ethos, in itself, is an act of defiance against linear fashion: Yaks are made to be loved today, tomorrow and forever. We love to see it.